Skip to content
You are not logged in |Login  
Limit search to available items
Book Cover
Author Johnson, David K., author.

Title Buying gay : how physique entrepreneurs sparked a movement / David K. Johnson.

Publication Info. New York : Columbia University Press, [2019]


Location Call No. Status
 Simsbury Public Library - Non Fiction  306.7662 JOHNSON    Check Shelf
Description xvi, 308 pages : illustrations ; 25 cm.
Series Columbia studies in the history of U.S. capitalism
Columbia studies in the history of U.S. capitalism.
Bibliography Includes bibliographical references (pages 243-291) and index.
Contents Introduction -- Emerging from the muscle magazines: Bob Mizer's Athletic Model Guild -- Selling gay books: Donald Webster Cory's "business with a conscience" -- The Grecian Guild: imagining a gay past, and future -- "I want a pen pal!:" Postmaster General Arthur Summerfield and the Adonis Male Club -- Defending a naked boy: Lynn Womack at the Supreme Court -- Consolidating the market: DSI of Minneapolis -- The physique legacy.
Summary In 1951, a new type of publication appeared on newsstands - the physique magazine produced by and for gay men. For many men growing up in the 1950s and 1960s, these magazines and their images and illustrations of nearly naked men, as well as articles, letters from readers, and advertisements, served as an initiation into gay culture. The publishers behind them were part of a wider world of "physique entrepreneurs" men as well as women who ran photography studios, mail-order catalogues, pen-pal services, book clubs, and niche advertising for gay audiences. While such businesses have often been seen as peripheral to the gay political movement, in Buying Gay David K. Johnson shows how gay commerce was not a byproduct of the gay-rights movement but an important catalyst for it. Offering a vivid look into the lives of physique entrepreneurs and their customers, and presenting a wealth of illustrations, Johnson explores the connection - and tension - between the market and the movement. With circulation rates many times higher than the openly political "homophile" magazines, physique magazines were the largest gay media outlets of their time. This network of producers and consumers helped foster a gay community and upend censorships laws, paving the way for open expression. Physique entrepreneurs were at the center of legal struggles, especially against the U.S. Post Office, including the court victory that allowed full frontal male nudity and open homoeroticism. Buying Gay reconceives the history of the gay movement and shows how consumer culture helped create community and a site for resistance.
Subject Gay men -- United States -- History.
Gay erotica -- United States -- History.
Bodybuilding -- United States -- Periodicals -- History.
Gay consumers -- United States -- History.
Gay business enterprises -- United States -- History.
Gay rights -- United States -- History.
Gay business enterprises. (OCoLC)fst00939067
Gay consumers. (OCoLC)fst00939080
Gay erotica. (OCoLC)fst00939095
Gay men. (OCoLC)fst00939117
Gay rights. (OCoLC)fst00939213
United States. (OCoLC)fst01204155
SPORTS & RECREATION / Bodybuilding & Weight Training.
Genre/Form History. (OCoLC)fst01411628.
Other Form: Online version: Johnson, David K. Buying gay. New York : Columbia University Press, [2019] 9780231548175 (DLC) 2018037924
ISBN 9780231189101 hardcover ; alkaline paper
0231189109 hardcover ; alkaline paper
Add a Review